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'To Kill a Mockingbird' evaluation of themes.

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Introduction

'To Kill a Mockingbird' evaluation of themes by Amy Naumann 'Naw Jem. I think theirs just one kind of folks. Folks.' It took Scout a long time to realise this, in a society where racism and prejudice are every-day occurrences. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee is set in the !930's deep South of America. In this essay I intend to show how the author uses various literary techniques to convey to the readers the main themes which are still important today - misunderstanding, racism, innocence and religious fundamentalism. 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is about two white children, Scout and Jem, who live with their moral lawyer father Atticus and black housekeeper Calpurnia in a small town called Maycomb. It is told by Scout looking back on her childhood, so we read everything from a child's point of view. In the first part of the book we hear all about the children trying to make contact with Boo Radley, their infamous neighbour rumoured to be a complete maniac. ...read more.

Middle

The title of the book is also about innocence. Mockingbirds are seen as innocent as they 'don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us'. Scout and Jem are taught that it's a crime to hurt mockingbirds as they do nothing to hurt anyone, in the same way that it's a crime to make fun of other peoples beliefs or lifestyles. In the novel both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson can be seen as Mockingbirds as they are kind-hearted people who have done no harm but whose circumstances have left there control. Both Boo Radley and Tom Robinson are picked on because their lives are misunderstood by the narrow-minded society in which they live. It cannot be understood that Tom Robinson, a black man, could feel sorry for a white woman because her live should automatically be better than his should as she is white. An important lesson Atticus teaches his children is that 'you don't really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them'. ...read more.

Conclusion

However there aren't many people in the white population of Maycomb who display true Christian characteristics. They talk about doing charitable work instead of actually doing anything good. Their views of religion are purely to follow the rules as they interpret them, and to try and make everyone else do the same. But in contrast the black Christians are welcoming - '...we're mighty glad to have you all' says Reverend Sykes when Scout and Jem go to Calpurnia's church. Also Atticus is an example of a 'good' Christian - he teaches his children to try and understand others viewpoints and be tolerant. He sticks up for Tom Robinson because he believes it is the right thing to do, even though it makes him very unpopular. In conclusion I think that 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a remarkable story. The issues which Harper Lee raises are still important today and probably still will be until everyone learns to be tolerant to those different to them. I think that she manages to bring them across in a humorous yet hard-hitting way, and that this novel will be a classic for years to come. ...read more.

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